Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  The Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Another day, another credit rating downgrade

Thursday, August 29, 2013
Crain's Chicago Business
by Paul Merrion

Citing the state's "legislative paralysis" on pension reform, the credit rating of Cook County Forest Preserve District was lowered two notches Thursday, with a negative outlook.

The district's credit rating now stands at A1, same as Cook County, which Moody's Investors Service noted is governed by the same commissioners who oversee the Forest Preserve District. An A1 rating is four notches below Aaa, Moody's highest possible rating.

The Wall Street credit rating agency said the downgrade reflects growing pension liabilities as contributions by employees and the district fall short of the required amount to pay future benefits.

Since early June, Moody's has lowered the credit rating of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago; Cook County; the City of Chicago; state universities; and the state of Illinois.

The Forest Preserve District's pension plan reported an unfunded liability of $100.6 million eight months ago, but Moody's said that using more conservative assumptions about interest rates and investment returns would put the pension liability at $244.8 million last year.

"The Forest Preserve District of Cook County, like other agencies, is a product of our local environment," Mark Thomas, the district's chief financial officer, said in a statement. "Every local taxing body is being affected by the pension crisis and the inability to act without state legislation — we are the latest casualty of the state's inaction."

"While we appreciate Moody's careful consideration of our financial position, we disagree with their decision to downgrade our rating to A1 from Aa2," he continued. "We believe that this double downgrade does not convey a complete understanding of the relationship between the Forest Preserve District and Cook County. It's also important to note that Moody's had strong praise for the Forest Preserves, citing our healthy financial operations, sound reserve levels, strong fiscal management, low debt burden and retained financial and operating flexibility.

"Nevertheless, Forest Preserve District and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle continues to urge the pension conference committee to work swiftly to address the state's pension systems so the General Assembly can turn its attention to local funds like the Forest Preserves that are in need of comprehensive pension reform."

The rating change affects about $188 million of the Forest Preserve District's general obligation debt.



Recent Headlines

Preckwinkle, Evans end budget battle
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

How Transparent and Accountable Are Chicago, Cook County Governments?
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

2 Cook County courthouses to close, employees spared layoffs under budget settlement: officials
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Troubled detainee at center of unusual court fight between Loyola hospital, Cook County
Monday, July 16, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners Confounded by Hiring of Health System Consultant
Monday, July 16, 2018
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Doctor fired by Cook County medical examiner now under the microscope in Indiana
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

County officials defend Forest Preserves police in wake of man harassing woman over Puerto Rican flag shirt
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Familiar questions about ‘bystander effect’ arise after man berates woman for Puerto Rico shirt
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Berrios' analysts used Zillow, other shortcuts in assessing property values, documents show
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Northbrook to revisit Cook County paid sick leave policy after opting out last year
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Forest Preserves officials discuss officer's resignation
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Amid video fallout, Cook County Forest Preserve District reveals fatal crash involving worker and governmental truck
Friday, July 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Transformation in the outdoors
Friday, July 13, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Forest preserve cop resigns after apparently failing to help woman being harassed over Puerto Rico shirt
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

5 things: A civics lesson on Puerto Rico after man rants about woman's flag T-shirt, questions citizenship
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Commissioners: Get Rid of Forest Preserve Police
Thursday, July 12, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

Schneider wants hearing over fatal crash blamed on Cook forest preserve driver
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Daily Herald

Man who harassed woman for Puerto Rican flag shirt charged with hate crime
Thursday, July 12, 2018
WLS ABC 7 Chicago

EDITORIAL: A judge drops a gun on a courthouse floor. So much for respect for the law
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Forest preserve officer who didn't help woman in Puerto Rican flag shirt 'tarnished the whole department,' commissioner says
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP